Thursday Morning Thankfulness – Epistles of Paul
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will. (2 Timothy 2:24-26)
The Lord’s Bond-Servant
Preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ is one of the greatest joys man can be a part of. It is a servants work requiring peculiar devotion to the purpose of teaching others the word of God. There is an overwhelming feeling of gratitude to be allowed to impart the mind of God to others but with a cautionary acceptance of receiving the heavier judgment because of it. Not all men are suited to preach the word of truth. Some do not receive the work as servants and without a humble spirit find themselves preaching for personal gain. The work of an evangelist is to serve as a sacrificial representation of the Lord who left the greatest example of servitude. His final lesson to the disciples at the Passover was to wash their feet. The hands of the preacher must be cleansed through the bathing of others feet.
The Lord’s bond-servant is not a quarrelsome servant. He does not strive about matters in a confrontational spirit imposing his will on others. So often men can become entangled in foolish arguments that do nothing but bring about strife. The preacher of the Book is only a spokesman of what the Book declares allowing the Spirit of God to convict the heart. When men begin to enforce their will on others in a haughty confrontational manner they fail to be bond-servants of the Lord.
Kindness is in the heart of God’s proclaimers. His heart is filled with the message of grace because he needs the Lord’s grace as much as the next person (often more so). His words are kind, his actions are kind and his demeanor is filled with the gentle character of humility. The power and conviction of salvation is in the word not the attitude of the preacher. The word convicts and is sufficient to accomplish its goal. This does not preclude the teaching of difficult and hard matters of faith. Jesus taught very hard lessons to the Pharisees with a spirit of love yet firmness to the truth. His kindness was evident to all.
The servant of the Lord remembers what his work is all about: teaching others the good news of Jesus Christ. Teaching is sharing the good words creating in the hearts of others the love and desire of godliness in their lives. Preaching the word stands against the wiles of the devil affirming the only salvation given to man. Correction is done in love as the Father chastens us with His love. When a preacher corrects a challenger with the gospel of Jesus Christ he remembers the power of conversion is in the word. Correcting an opponent with gentleness allows the gospel to convict the heart.
May God raise up men who will embrace the work of preaching as bond-servants of the King of Kings giving their lives to sharing the gospel of salvation with the lost. No greater joy can anyone share than helping another find Jesus Christ and eternal life through the Word. The preacher knows it is not about him but about He who gave all. The words we share are mere echoes of what we have learned through the grace of God. Thank you God for your love.
He is the best speaker who can turn the ear into an eye. (Arab Proverb)